The Importance of Good Sleep

If you have sleep issues, you aren’t alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of American adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep, which is seven hours or more a night.

At the holistic medical practice of Bonnie S. Friehling, MD, in Columbia, Missouri, a Dr. Friehling can get to the root of what’s preventing you from getting a good sleep. In this blog, she discusses the harmful effects of not getting enough rest, what can hinder a solid sleep, and what you can do to get a good night’s sleep.

The importance of a good sleep

If you don’t sleep well, it can throw off your bodily rhythms. You can build up a sleep debt, which usually can’t be paid off easily, even if you take a weekend off and do nothing but sleep. Sleeplessness can cause:

  • Tiredness and chronic fatigue
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Distracted driving and error-prone judgement
  • Increased stress and anxiety
  • Higher risks of cardiovascular events or stroke

If you don’t sleep or your sleep is restless and interrupted, your immune system can be affected. You might get sick easily, and you might end up feeling worn out all the time. Furthermore, 90% of people with insomnia have another serious health problem.

Treating sleep issues

Dr. Friehling can help you get a good night’s sleep by diagnosing and treating various issues, such as chronic pain, which might keep you awake at night or prevent you from going through the normal sleep cycles. You may be able to sleep much better if you get the right kind of pain management.

Another area of your health that can be addressed to improve your sleep is your diet. Proper nutrition can help ensure you have the right chemicals in your body and brain to promote healthy sleep.

When your body has the correct nutrients to operate properly, sleep disorders and other issues often self resolve, and the problems caused by lack of sleep can lessen as well.

Five tips for better sleep

Following these tips can help you self-regulate your sleep schedule and get back on track.

1. Make a sleep schedule

Create a sleep schedule and stick to it, even on weekends and holidays when possible.

2. Create a dark, calm environment

Use light-blocking curtains and a fan to create a calm, insulated sleep environment.

3. Cut the caffeine

Don’t consume caffeine, or have your last cup no later than 4 p.m., so it can clear your system.

4. Exercise early

Do your exercise routine early in the day, so you don’t hype up your body before bed.

5. Pass on the alcohol

Don’t drink alcohol before bed. While it can make you drowsy, it will reduce healthy REM sleep.

If you want to learn more tips or find out how holistic medicine can help you get a better night’s sleep, book an appointment over the phone with the office of Bonnie S. Friehling, MD, today.

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